Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Don’t fear them, but fear Me

January 15, 2019

This first part is translated from Shaikh Fawzaan’s explanation of Kitabut-Tawheed by Imam Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhaab


The statement of Allaah, The Most High (translated): “That is only shaytaan who tries to make you fear his helpers and supporters.  So don’t fear them, but fear Me if you are truly Believers.” (Aal-Imraan 3:175)


Explanation by Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan:


1.The connection between this chapter and kitabut-tawheed:

Fear is one of the most common forms of worship and it must be directed only to Allaah, The Most High. The author is pointing out with this chapter the obligation to fear Allaah alone.


2.The word “Innamaa” إِنَّمَا is a restrictive particle.

3.“Shaytaan” is a proper name for Iblees, the cursed one.

4.“Who tries to make you fear his helpers and supporters” means he tries to make you fear his helpers and supporters by making you think they have tremendous powers.


5.“So don’t fear them” meaning don’t fear his friends and helpers that he is trying to make you fear.


6.“but fear Me” so don’t disobey Me


7.“if you are truly Believers” because faith requires you to put fear of Allaah ahead of fear of people.


8.The summarized meaning of the verse is: Allaah, The Most High, informs us that one of the strategies of the enemy of Allaah is to make the Believers fear his helpers and soldiers so that they won’t struggle against them by enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.

Allaah has prohibited us from fearing them and commanded us to fear Him Alone. This is what faith requires.

Every time the servant’s faith strengthens, fear of the helpers of shaytaan leaves his heart.  And every time his faith weakens, his fear of them increases.


Benefits of this verse:

1.Fear is an act of worship that is for Allaah alone.

2.Being afraid of other than Allaah is polytheism (shirk) when one fears that someone other than Allaah – an idol or something which is worshiped other than Him – will afflict him with a calamity,

3.This is a warning from this strategy shaytaan uses.


Al Mulakh-khas fee Sharh Kitabut-Tawheed p. 258





The second part is taken from:


Q: Is fear of the jinn considered to be from natural fear or no?

A (Shaikh Rabee): If fear of the jinn is the secret fear in which someone believes the jinn can benefit them or harm then, then this is polytheism:

“Men from mankind used to seek refuge with the men of the jinn, but they only increased them in terror.” (al-Jinn 72:6)


Usually fear of the jinn enters into the fear that is worship and Allaah knows best. Because a person believes the jinn can harm them or benefit them.  However, none possesses the ability to bring about harm or benefit except Allaah.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Know that if the entire world got together to benefit you with something, they would not be able to benefit you with anything except what Allaah had decreed for you to get. And if they all got together to harm you with something, they would not be able to harm you with anything except what Allaah had decreed to happen to you.” (collected by at-Tirmidhee)

The sincere Muslim fears none but Allaah, Mighty and Majestic is He: “Don’t fear them, but fear Me if you are truly Believers.” (Aal-Imran 3:175)

Meaning – the secret fear, fear of worship. As for being afraid of a snake, a lion, or an evil person who might attack you and you are unable to resist him, then this is the natural fear that doesn’t harm a person to have. This won’t harm a person if Allaah wills, and it is not a deficit in one’s beliefs.

However, fear of the jinn usually is based upon corrupt beliefs. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) has given you weapons and knowledge. Recite ayatul Kursi. Recite the 3 surahs that begin with “qul” (ikhlass, falaq and naas). Protect yourself. The remembrance of Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, protects you from them. Do those things that will protect you from them and from every type of harm – from snakes, vipers, scorpions and other than them. Like saying: “I seek refuge with the Perfect Words of Allaah from the evil of what He has created.” When you say these things with sincerity and truthfulness, nothing will harm you – not a jinn, nor a snake nor other than that. May Allaah bless you.


Letter to the People of Bahrain – Ibn Taymiyyah

January 18, 2013



Shaykh al-Islaam’s Letter to the People of Bahrain Source: Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (6/485-506)

[ In the Name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, may He raise the rank of His Messenger and grant him peace… ]
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have Mercy on him, wrote:

That which obliges (my writing of) this (letter) is what your delegation has narrated to me about affairs of division and differing amongst you, to the point that fighting has almost broken out.  They mentioned that the reason for this differing is the issue of the disbelievers seeing their Lord (on the Day of Judgement), and I never expected this issue to go as far as it has, as this affair is a light one (khafeef).
Rather it is important (to mention) that it is obligatory on every Muslim to believe firmly that the believers will see their Lord in the Next Abode when gathered upon the plains of the day of Judgement, and also when they enter Paradise.  This is due to what has been reported by a conclusively large number of narrations from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) found with the scholars of Hadeeth.  For verily he (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) reported that we are going to see our Lord just as we see the full moon or the sun on a clear day, we are not going to have any difficulty in seeing Him.
And the sight of Him, may He be exalted, is the highest level of delight in Paradise and the very goal of all those who worship Allaah, being sincere to Him in the Religion, even if they will be on different levels in how they see Him based on their closeness to Allaah and their knowledge of Him.

Then Shaykh al-Islaam went on to clarify the ruling on those who deny the seeing of Allaah and mention books that have been authored on the subject.  Then he said, may Allaah have Mercy on him:

As for the issue of the disbelievers seeing Him, then this discussion only surfaced and became a focus of debate, based on what has reached me, three hundred years after Hijrah.  A group of scholars refrained from speaking about this issue, while others spoke about it.  Those who spoke about it differed over it, having three different positions, and I do not know that those who differed over it ever cursed each other or boycotted each other over it, since each of the three groups were people of virtues and people of Sunnah.
This discussion is similar to the discussion surrounding the issue of the disbelievers being held accountable (for their deeds): Will they have to account for their deeds or not?  It is an issue that no one is to be cast outside of Islaam based on it, and there exists consensus on this.  And it is also correct (to say) that pressure is not to be applied (to people) based on it, nor is there to be any boycotting over it.
It has been narrated that Abul-Hasan ibn Bash-shaar said, ‘Those who say that they (the disbelievers) will be made to account (for their deeds) are not to be prayed behind.’  The correct position that the vast majority (of the scholars) hold is that both groups are to be prayed behind.  In fact, the differing between them can even be settled with a proper study of the issue, even when some of the companions of Imaam Ahmad differed over it.  The majority of them said that they will not be held accountable (for their deeds), and a number of other scholars and people of rhetoric differed over this issue (as well).
This is since the word ‘accounting’ or ‘reckoning’ (hisaab) could mean (Allaah’s) Knowledge of their deeds, the writing of the deeds in the books, the display of the books to the disbelievers, rebuking them for what they have done, or the increasing or decreasing of their punishments based on their level of disbelief.  This kind of reckoning (hisaab) is confirmed (for them) by way of scholarly agreement.
However, the word ‘reckoning’ (hisaab) could be used to mean the weighing of the good deeds and bad deeds (on the Scale) to see which is heavier.  The disbeliever has no good deeds (hasanaat) that could be weighed along with his bad deeds, since all of his deeds are rendered useless.  They would only be weighed to show how empty his Scale (of good deeds) is, not so that his good deeds might outweigh (the bad ones).
It could also be meant by ‘reckoning’ (hisaab) – Is Allaah the one who will speak to them or not?  The Qur’aan and the Sunnah show that Allaah will speak to them in a way that will degrade, rebuke, and reprimand them, not in a way that draws them near or honors them, and not in a merciful way.  There were also some scholars who rejected this totally.
The three positions (that the scholars held) about the disbelievers seeing (Allaah) are:
1 – The disbelievers will never see their Lord, not those who outwardly manifest their disbelief, nor those who conceal it (the hypocrites).  This is the position of the majority of the later scholars, and it is what is understood from the generality of the speech of the early scholars.  It is also the position of the companions of Imaam Ahmad and others.
2 – Whoever outwardly manifests tawheed will see Him, both the believers of this Ummah and the hypocrites, along with those left over from the People of the Book.  That will be on the plains of the Day of Judgement.  Then the hypocrites will be screened off and will not be able to see Him after that.  This is the position of Aboo Bakr Ibn Khuzaymah from the imaams of Ahlus-Sunnah.  Also, al-Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa has mentioned likewise with the hadeeth of His coming to them, may He be glorified and exalted, at the mawqif (the expansive land where the people are gathered on the Day of Judgement), and the hadeeth is well known.
3 – The disbelievers will see Him in a way that denotes identification and punishment, like the robber who sees the authorities.  Then they will be screened off and thus their punishment will magnify and their penalty will become more severe.  This is the position of Abul-Hasan ibn Saalim and his companions and others, and they ascribe to the foundations of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hambal and Aboo Sahl ibn ‘Abdillaah at-Tustaree.

Then Shaykh al-Islaam went into the subject in great detail, mentioning the evidences of the different positions and the responses from those who oppose them, showing how each position is founded upon evidence from the Book and the Sunnah.  Then he returned to what he saw as being a very important issue:

So, to summarize, it was not my intention to make this letter a comprehensive discussion of this issue, since knowledge is too vast.  Rather the intention was to clarify that this issue is not from the important issues that deserve lengthy discussions, or that we put it forth to all the people so that it becomes a pivotal issue that causes the hearts to differ and the desires to scatter.
This issue, as far as I know, is not something that requires boycotting and the breaking of ties, since most of the people who spoke about this issue in the past were people of Sunnah and Ittibaa’ (people who followed the way of the Salaf).  People who did not boycott each other or break off ties differed over this issue, just as the Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) and those after them differed over whether the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) saw His Lord in this life or not.  They spoke with very harsh words, like what the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: ‘Whoever claims that Muhammad saw his Lord, then he has invented a great lie against Allaah.’  Even with this (kind of statement), it did not take the differing into boycotting or the breaking of ties.
Similarly, Imaam Ahmad debated some people from Ahlus-Sunnah about the issue of affirming that the ten (Companions who were promised Paradise) are absolutely in Paradise, until the debate lead to raised voices.  Ahmad and others believed in affirming (their place in Paradise absolutely), but they did not boycott those who held to not affirming it for them absolutely.  There are a number of other examples similar to this.
Those who have differed in this issue (the disbelievers seeing Allaah) have even more right to be excused.  As for the majority of the scholars (who reject the idea of the disbelievers seeing Allaah), then their excuse (that their opponents could offer for them) is obvious, something shown in the Qur’aan and narrated by the Salaf, that the vast majority of what has been narrated about seeing Allaah is only related to the believers seeing (Him).  Also, no explicit text reached them proving that the disbelievers will see Allaah.  Furthermore, they understood that the generality of seeing Allaah is the highest kind of honor and the best possible delight.
As for those who have affirmed (that the disbelievers will see Allaah) in general, as well as those who have a affirmed it upon a specific understanding, then I have already mentioned their excuse.  They say that (the screening referred to in) Allaah’s Statement, (( Nay! Verily they, on that Day, will be screened from their Lord )), is the screening after the reckoning, since it could be said, ‘I have screened Fulaan from seeing me,’ and it is possible that he had already seen (him) in some way before that.  Thus it is a kind of screening that is connected (to having already seen Him).  And by way of this screening, there exists a difference between them and the believers, for verily He, may He be glorified and exalted, will have appeared to the believers on the plains of the Day of Judgement after the disbelievers have been screened from seeing Him, as indicated in the previously mentioned narrations.  Then, He will appear to them once they are in Paradise, in general and specific ways, always and forever, eternally.
They say that the speech of the Salaf is in accordance with what is in the Qur’aan.  Also, this kind of seeing (Allaah) that is for all the Creation in general could be a very limited kind of view that would not even be considered ‘seeing’ like the specific way the believers will see Him, since there are many different modes of seeing (something), and they differ greatly from one kind to the next, and it is likely that we may not be able to distinguish between them.
(Now I must mention that) there are some manners that must be observed:
– 1 –  Whoever refrains from speaking about this issue and does not call to anything, then it is not permissible to boycott him, even if he (inwardly) believes in the correctness of one of the positions.  This is because there are much greater innovations that we do not boycott over, unless the person is a caller (to the innovation) and does not remain quiet.  This is one (point).
– 2 –  Verily it is not befitting that the people of knowledge make this issue into a test and sign of correctness, preferring their brothers (who agree with them) over their opponents, for verily this is something hated by Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).
– 3 –  It is not something that should not be used to start conversations with the common people, those who are already safe and free of problems.  However, if someone is asked about it, or he sees someone that deserves to learn about it, then let him recite upon him what he knows about it, that which he hopes will bring about benefit.  This is not the case for the issue of the believers seeing their Lord in the Hereafter, as belief in that is obligatory and binding due to what has been convincingly reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), his Companions, and the Salaf of this Ummah.
– 4 –  It is not for anyone to speak generally and say that the disbelievers will see their Lord without any restrictions.  This is wrong for two reasons:
Firstly, seeing Allaah in general is something understood to be an honor and a reward, so it is misleading to mention it in an unrestricted fashion.  It is not for anyone to use words unrestrictedly when that may lead people to make conclusions that oppose the truth, unless that exact kind of usage was found with the Salaf.  In this case specifically, this kind of usage was not found with them.
Secondly, If something from a general ruling is singled out and mentioned specifically in a negative way, then this specification is not to be allowed.  For indeed Allaah has created everything and wanted everything to happen the way it has, however a man must not specify things that are repugnant from the created beings or events that are not desired by the Islaamic legislation, by singling them out and saying: ‘O Creator of the dogs!’ or ‘O One who wants fornication!’ and the likes, as opposed to saying, ‘O Creator of everything!’ or ‘I call on the One who permits everything to happen!’  Similarly, in this situation, if someone said, ‘There is no one that exists except that Allaah will be alone with him (on the Day of Judgement), and there will be no screen (between him and Allaah) and no translator.  Also, if someone said, ‘Verily all of the people will be gathered and brought to Allaah and He will look at them and they will look at Him,’ then this phrase eliminates any confusion that might arise from the first statement (that ‘the disbelievers will see Allaah’ mentioned in an unrestricted manner).
– 5 –  Let no one go beyond the usage of the phrases used (by the Salaf), even if there could be some differing over some of the meanings.  This is something that must be observed, as the affair is as our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) informed us, and goodness, all goodness, is in following the righteous Salaf, learning more about the narrations of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and understanding them, holding tight to the Rope of Allaah, keeping ourselves close to all means of harmony and staying together, and staying away from all things that lead to differing and dividing, unless it is a clear affair in which Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) have ordered us to stay away from people because of it, then there is no hesitation (in abandoning them).
– 6 –  When it is not clear if a statement or action is something for which a person is to be punished or not, then it is obligatory to not punish him, due to the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam): ‘Leave off the hudood (Islaamically legislated punishments) if there are doubts, for verily for you to excuse someone mistakenly is better than mistakenly punishing (someone).’  It was collected by Aboo Daawood.  This is so especially since the affair will lead to a long-lasting evil and to the splitting of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.  For verily the corruption that results from such a splitting is many times greater than the evil that comes from the error of a small group of people in a subsidiary matter.
– 7 –  When an affair is not clear to someone, then let him supplicate with what Muslim has reported in his Saheeh, on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), who said that when the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) stood to pray, he would say: ‘O Allaah, Lord of Jibraa’eel, Meekaa’eel, and Israafeel, Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who knows the hidden and manifest affairs, You judge between Your Servants about what they used to differ over, guide me to the truth in the affairs that are differed over!  By Your Permission, for verily You guide whomever You like to a straight path.’
Having said this, I ask Allaah, the Great One, the Lord of the great Throne, to grant us, and all of you, success in achieving that which He loves and is pleased with, both statements and actions.  And may He grant us the ability to follow the guidance of His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) in secret and in the open.  And may He gather us all together upon guidance, couple our affairs with success, and cause our hearts to be united upon the heart of the best of us.  And may He protect us from Shaytaan and grant us refuge from the evils of our own selves and from the evil (consequences) of our deeds.
And I have written this letter, doing my best to provide some direction, and I only seek to correct the affairs as much as I am able, and my success is only from Allaah.  Having said this, I do not have complete knowledge of the reality of what is between you or the specific details of your affairs.  I have only written based on what I understood from the report of the one who narrated (your affairs) to me.  And the greater goal was to correct that which is between you and bring the hearts together.
As for a comprehensive statement about this issue and others, and a clarification of the reality of the affair, then perhaps I may speak or write about that at another time when I feel that there is more need for it.  As for this occasion, I felt that the need to straighten out your affair is more important.
Was-Salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh, and all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all that exists, and may He raise the rank of our leader Muhammad, and that of his family and Companions, and may He grant them an abundance of peace.  Allaah is sufficient for us, what a fine Wakeel (Caretaker).

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

The Incident When the Astray Innovator Extremist Terrorists Tried to Take Over the Grand Mosque

July 18, 2012

More on the late Prince Nayyif here:




One of the main episodes which took place during his position as the Minister of the Interior was the occupation of the Al-Masjid Al-Haraam, Makkah. This is what happened as translated in the Saudi Gazette from the daily newspaper, Al-Watan [1979]

“No one can open the file on Juhaiman bin Saif Al-Otaibi and his group without mentioning the late Crown Prince Naif who was the interior minister at the time. When the group occupied the Grand Mosque, Prince Naif faced the challenge of liberating it. He insisted on overseeing the operation by himself without any outside help.

When Juhaiman and Muhammad Al-Qahtani, who would later become his brother-in-law, joined hands, their collective ideologies began spreading poisonous ideas in small mosques in Madinah. In 1965, Juhaiman established a group called Al-Jamma’a Al-Salafiyya Al-Muhtasiba, which was an extension of the Ikhwan ideology. Soon Juhaiman took control of the group and diverted its tasks to political activities. As the group expanded, he recruited youth from all over the Kingdom. Prince Naif interfered at the time and called for the group’s activities to be supervised. As a result, Juhaiman isolated the group and himself from society.

The Al-Watan newspaper carried the details of the operation in a report on Monday. In late 1978, Al-Qahtani told Juhaiman that he had had a dream in which he was the Mahdi, or redeemer of Islam, and said he wanted to liberate the Arabian peninsula and the entire world from wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. On Nov. 20, 1979, 270 people from Juhaiman’s group entered the Grand Mosque under the pretext of attending the Fajr prayer. They were carrying several caskets with them and mosque guards were told they contained bodies. In reality, the caskets contained dozens of weapons that the group would later use to take over the mosque.

During the Fajr prayer, the group chained all of the mosque’s doors and placed two guards at each door. Several other militants stormed the microphone room and took control of the mosque’s loudspeakers. Sheikh Muhammad Al-Subayel, who was leading the prayer, said as soon as the prayer concluded, the group announced the appearance of the Mahdi. They said he had escaped from his enemies and was taking refuge inside the Grand Mosque. Juhaiman then introduced Al-Qahtani as “the awaited Mahdi and the redeemer of Islam.”

Juhaiman and his group then pledged allegiance to Al-Qahtani who asked the people to also do so while members of the group began firing gunshots in the air. The mosque’s guards, who are not armed, tried to resist them but were shot and killed. A group of worshippers managed to escape from the Grand Mosque but others who tried to reason with the group and told them they were wrong were also shot dead. Prince Naif immediately ordered the Grand Mosque to be surrounded and told officers not to engage in any contact with the group until the authorities had a clearer picture. Security forces began moving inside the mosque complex and some of them managed to position themselves inside and waited for orders to attack. At the same time, Juhaiman’s group was trying to force all worshippers inside to pledge allegiance to the awaited Mahdi.

The then King Khaled met with Muslim scholars and briefed them on the situation. Scholars said a surrender should be negotiated with the group and if they refused, then they should be forcibly evacted even if it meant killing them.

Meanwhile, Prince Naif had arrived in Makkah to personally supervise the operation and plans to liberate the Grand Mosque. People and residents around the Grand Mosque complex were asked to clear the area due the guns being fired by Juhaiman’s group from the mosque’s minarets. Saudi security forces managed to identify their positions and the type of weapons they were using. Groups from the National Guard were brought in along with the armed forces in preparation to storm the besieged mosque. King Khaled’s directives at that time were to give the group time to surrender and to ensure the safety of the innocent people stuck inside the mosque. Saudi forces used microphones to ask the group to surrender and release the hostages but they refused.

There were scattered clashes with the group and Saudi snipers were brought in to take out the snipers inside the mosque. The Saudi troops already positioned inside also began engaging Juhaiman’s group and forced them to release the hostages. Saudi troops forced the group to withdraw to the tunnels in the lower level beneath the mosque and they then took control of the roads leading to the tunnels. Juhaiman and his group barricaded themselves in several rooms underneath the Grand Mosque.

After five days of being surrounded, dozens of members in the group surrendered to the authorities. After the news of Al-Qahtani’s death began to spread, many other members laid down their arms and surrendered.On Dec. 5, 1979, the Saudi Army and the National Guard laid out a plan to put an end to the siege. They started a final push and managed to isolate the group far away from the Ka’aba. Saudi forces then cut electricity and water to them. Some immediately surrendered while other continued to fight.The news about French, Jordanian and Egyptian forces participating in the operation to liberate the Grand Mosque was not true. At the time, Saudi Arabia received many offers of help but they were all declined. King Khaled addressed the country’s security forces and the National Guard and thanked them for liberating the Grand Mosque.

On Jan. 10, 1980, 63 people who carried out the attacks were executed in several different cities while Juhaiman was executed in Makkah. The nationalities of the people that were executed are as follows: 34 Saudis, 9 Egyptians, 3 Kuwaitis, 6 Yemenis, 1 Sudanese and 1 Iraqi. Prince Naif said at a press conference after the incident that 19 people went to jail and 23 women and children were sent to juvenile centers. Prince Naif also announced that 12 Saudi officers and 115 soldiers died during the operation. In addition, 402 officers and 49 soldiers were injured. Prince Naif said 75 members of Juhaiman’s group were killed during the siege. Fifteen bodies belonging to the group were later found in the tunnels underneath the mosque.”

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 6)

May 20, 2012



Bismillah Wa Salaatu Wa Salaamu ‘Alaa Rasoolillah:

Ammaa b’ad:

Concerning the Preservation, Collection and compilation of the Qur’aan

As mentioned in that which has passed, the Qur’aan was revealed in accordance with occurrences and incidents that took place during the life of the messenger (saw) or that Allah choose to reveal it without there being an incident related to its revelation.

On occasions Allah revealed whole surahs at once, at others times parts of surahs and at other times parts of Ayahs.

Stages in the collection of the Qur’aan

The people of knowledge mention that there were three main stages in the collection of the qur’aan:

  1. The Era of the Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi was Salam)

During this period the qur’aan, alongside being revealed was naturally being recorded by the companions of the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi was Salam).

The main method of preserving the Qur’aan in this period was through memory. The Arabs were well known for having exceptional memories and thus it was memorised by many in this period through this means. It was also preserved in writing during the life of the prophet (Sallallahu alahi was salam) on various material. It was preserved on Animal skins, bone, Date palm wood and animal shoulder.

The known memorisors and recitors of the qur’aan were many.

That which will bring clarity to this fact is the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik who said:

“The prophet (Sallallahu alahi was salam) sent seventy men who were known as ‘Al Qurraa’ (The proficient reciters of the qur’aan) upon a mission. They were confronted by the people of the tribes of Hayaan, Ra’l and dhakwaan (Tribes who had animosity with the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) and were (all) killed…”

(Collected by Al Bukhaari 4088 and Muslim 1581)

On the basis of this incident the messenger supplicated against them in the dua of Qunoot for the period of a month

The Hadeeth establishes the fact that the memorisers of the qur’aan at the time of the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) were many.

Imaam Abu Ubaid in his book ‘Al Qiraa’aat’ mentions some of the most popular of those who had memorised the quar’aan. From them we have the four caliphs of the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi was salam) and the likes of Abdullah ibn mas’ood, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abdullah ibn Abbaas, Abdullah ibn Zubair, Abdullah ibn al Amr’ ibnil Aas,  Saalim the freed slave of Abi Hudhaifa, Ubayy Ibn Ka’b, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, Zaid ibn Thaabit and Abu Darda. Alongside Aisha, Hafsa and Umm Sala to name but a few.

  1. The period of Abu Bakr As Sideeq (Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu)

During the caliphate of Abu Bakr in the twelfth year after Hijra, Abu Bakr commissioned the second stage in the compilation and  preservation of the Qur’aan. The reason for his compilation was that which took place during the Battle of Yamaamah a large number of memorisers of the qur’aan were killed in battle. Abu Bakr, who was the khalifah at the time was concerned about the deaths of the proficient in the recitation of the qur’aan since it was not officially collected in one book at the time but either memorised in its totality or preserved in writing in various places

During this battle known as ‘the wars of apostacy’ against Musailima the great liar and false prophet, a great number of memorisers of the Qur’aan were killed (more than 400 in number) thus Abu Bakr in order to protect the qur’aan had it officially collected since at that time it was either preserved writing present in various places or it was preserved in totality in the chests of the believers. An explanation of this incident occurs in the following hadeeth in Saheeh Bukhaari. Zaid Ibn Thaabit (who was commissioned by Abu Bakr to undertake the task of collecting the Qur’aan, narrates the conversation he had with Abu Bakr in the presence of Umar, who had suggested to Abu Bakr that the Qur’aan should be collected, the incident occurs in the following hadeeth:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit Al-Ansari, one of the scribes of the Revelation: Abu Bakr sent for me after the casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamaama (where a great number of Qurra were killed). ‘Umar was in the presence of Abu Bakr, when he (Abu Bakr) said (to Zaid): “Umar has come to me and said, the People have suffered heavy casualties on the day of (the battle of) Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be some casualties among the Qurra (those who know the Qur’an by heart) elsewhere, whereby a large part of the Qur’an may be lost, unless you collect it. Thus I am of the opinion that you should collect the Qur’an.’ Abu Bakr added, ‘I said to ‘Umar, “How can I do something which Allah’s Apostle has not done?” ‘Umar said (to me) “By Allah, it is a good thing”. So ‘Umar kept on pressing trying to persuade me to accept his proposal, till Allah opened my bosom for it and I had the same opinion as ‘Umar’. (Zaid bin Thaabit added:) ‘Umar was sitting with him (Abu Bakr) and was not speaking. Abu Bakr said (to me), ‘You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you (of telling lies or of forgetfulness); and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur’aan and collect it (in one manuscript)’. By Allah, if he (Abu Bakr) had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would not have been harder for me than what he had ordered me concerning the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, ‘How will you carry out a thing which the Prophet has not done?’ Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah, it is a good thing. So I continued discussing with him about it till Allah opened my bosom for that which He had opened the bosoms of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. So I started locating the Quranic material and collecting it from parchments, scapula, leafstalks of date palms and from the memories of men (who knew it by heart). I found with Khuzaima two verses of Suraat-at-Tauba which I had not found with anybody else (and they were):

‘Verily there has come to you an Apostle (Muhammad) from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad) is ardently anxious over you (to be rightly guided)’ (9:128).

The manuscript on which the Qur’an was collected, remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him, and then with ‘Umar till Allah took him unto Him, and finally it remained with Hafsa, ‘Umar’s daughter.

(Collected by Imaam Al Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ 4679)

This ordering of the collection and compilation of the Qur’aan carried out by Abu Bakr is mentioned as being from the greatest of his virtues.

  1. The compilation of the Third Caliph Uthmaan

The Qur’aan, as is established in authentic hadeeth, was revealed in seven ‘Ahruf’ (different Arabic dialects). The revelation of the qur’aan in these dialects was to accommodate the various dialect of the Arab tribes in the region at that time. During the time of Uthmaan there occurred differing over the modes of recitation. This differing led to a big trial among the muslims and to fighting and bloodshed.

Thus trial was what lead to the third stage in the Compilation of the Qur’aan.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to ‘Uthmaan at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur’an, so he said to ‘Uthmaan, ‘O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur’an), as Jews and the Christians have differed (before)’. So ‘Uthmaan sent a message to Hafsa saying, ‘Send us the manuscripts of the Qur’an so that we mayncompile the Qur’anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you’. Hafsa sent it to ‘Uthmaan. ‘Uthmaan then ordered Zaid bin Thaabit, ‘Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Sa’eed bin Al-’Aas and ‘Abdur Rahman bin Haarith bin Hishaam to copy the manuscripts in perfect copies. ‘Uthmaan said to the three Quraishi men (the three other than Zaid ibn Thaabit), ‘If you disagree with Zaid bin Thaabit on any point in the Qur’an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish as the Qur’an was revealed in their tongue’. They did so, and when they had written copies, ‘Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. ‘Uthmaan sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Zaid bin Thaabit added, ‘i could not find a verse from Sura al-Ahzab when we copied the Qur’an which I used to hear Allah’s Apostle reciting. So we searched and found it with Khuzaima bin Thaabit Al-Ansaari’. (That verse was): ‘Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah’ (33: 23).

Thus we see the difference between the collection of Abu Bakr and the collection of Uthmaan is that the compilation of Abu Bakr was done with the intent of gathering the parts of the Qur’aan that where preserved in writing with the companions into one official book, while the collection of Uthmaan was to establish a standardised Qur’aan that the people would unite upon and not differ about.

(Collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ 4702)

Thus the three stages are in summary:

1. Memorisation and preservation (During the Era of the Messenger (Sallallahu ‘alaihi was salam)

2. Collection and compilation (During the Era of Abu Bakr As Sideeq – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu)

3. Standardisation (During the Era of Uthmaan – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu)

Wa Billahit Tawfeeq

Concise Principles in Tafseer and the science of the Qur’aan (Part 5)

May 20, 2012



Bismillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa rasoolillahi,

Ammaa Ba’d,

The origin concerning the revelation of verses in the qur’aan is that its verses were revealed once.

Though it may occur in relation to verses in the Qur’aan (and surahs for that matter) that have more than one reason for revelation, that if the two reasons for revelation are authentic and there is a clear distance in time, as it relates to the two incidents (i.e. that one verse was revealed when the messenger (Sallallahu ‘alahi was Sallam) was living in Makka and the other while he was resident in Madina after the Hijra) the scholars rule that the verse was revealed twice.

The reason for that (they mention) is in order to re-affirm a past ruling and to affirm that the (new) incident falls within the meaning of the verse.

Imaam Zarkashi Mentions:

“An affair may be revealed twice in order to fortify its importance, and to remind of it when its reason re-occurs, fearing it may be forgotten. This is what has been said concerning the revelation of Suratul Faatihah, that it was revealed twice, once in Makka and a second time in Madina…”

(Al Burhaan 1/29)

An example of this is that which occurs concerning the statement of Allah the most high:

“Alif Laam Meem.  The Romans have been defeated…(Suratur Room 1-4)

Upon the authority of Niyaar ibn Mukrim who said:

When Allah revealed:

Alif Laam Meem. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land (the region of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine) and they, after their defeat will be victorious. Within three to nine years.

When this verse was revealed, the Persians had overpowered the Romans. The Muslims wished that they (The Romans) overpowered the Persians due to the fact that they were both people of the book (i.e. The Muslims and the Roman Christians). Concerning this there occurs the statement of Allah:

“And on that day the believers (Muslims) will rejoice with the help of Allah. He helps whom he wills and he is the All Mighty the Mercy-giver”

But Quraish wished that the Persians were victorious since neither of them were people of scripture or belief in the resurrection.

So when Allah revealed this verse, Abu Bakr went out to regions of Makka shouting:

The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land (the region of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine) and they after their defeat will be victorious. Within three to nine years…”

So a group from the tribe of Quraish said:”Let us deal with this between us.  Your companion (Muhammad) claims that the Romans will defeat the Persians in a number of years between three and nine, Come let us make a bet upon that! So Abu Bakr said: “Ok!” and this was before the prohibition of Gambling. So Abu Bakr agreed with them to make a bet. They said let us agree upon a time period because Bid’ (the Arabic term used in the verse) is an amount between three and nine so let us name a year that we bet upon. So they agreed upon the sixth year, since it was a middle period between the two periods. So six years passed and they (The Romans) were not victorious. So the pagans took the amount Abu Bakr had placed upon the bet (some narrations mention it was 100 camels) some of the believers reproached Abu Bakr for what he had done, due to the fact that Allah had mentioned (this will occur in) Bid’ years (which refers to a number between three and nine). Then on the seventh year the Romans gained victory over the Persians and many people entered Islaam because of this” (Collected by Tirmidhi 3194 and declared: Hasan by Sheikh Al Albaani)

There is a narration that indicates that the verse was revealed again in Madina

Imaam At Tirmidhi collects upon the authority of Abu Sa’eed Al khudhri (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu): ”During the (period of) battle of Badr, the romans defeated the Persians (in battle). The believers were happy about this and Allah revealed:

Alif Laam Meem. The Romans have been defeated. In the nearest land (the region of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine) and they, after their defeat will be victorious. Within three to nine years. The decision of the matter, before (the defeat) and after (the defeat) is only with Allah. And on that day the believers (Muslims) will rejoice”

(Suratur Ruum 1-4)

So the believers were happy at the victory of the Romans over the Persians” This then is an example of a verse being revealed more than once. The verse was revealed in Makka before the Hijra then again in Madina some seven years later Another example of that is the hadeeth related to the revelation of the verse in suratul Israa Vs 85:

They ask you about the soul…

Imaam Bukhaari (7297) and Muslim (2794) collected upon the authority of Ibn Mas’ood who said:

I was walking with the Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alahi was Sallam) (on an occasion) in the agricultural (area) in madina and he was reclining upon a palm branch stripped of its leaves. He passed by a group of Jews and some of them said: why not ask him (a question) while others among them said: Don’t ask him (anything) for you will hear from him what you will dislike: So they said: “Oh Abul Qaasim: Inform us about the soul? So the messenger stood for a period and raised his head to the heavens and I knew he was receiving revelation then when it passed over he said:

They ask you about the soul; say The Rooh (soul) is (from those things) the knowledge of which is with my lord and of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little” (Israa:85)

Imaam Ibn Katheer mentions about this Hadeeth:

That which is apparent from this wording and is initially taken from this is that the verse is Madinan and that it was revealed when the Jews asked him this question in Madina, though (the reality is that) the surah in its totality is Makkan. And the explanation of this is that it is possible that the surah was revealed in Madina a second time after its initial revelation in Makka…”

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer 3/60)

A note concerning the Makkan and Madinan Surahs

What should be noted here is that there is a common misconception about Makki (Makkan)and Madani (Madinan) Surahs. Many people erroneously believe that the Makkan surah is that which came to the messenger when he was in makka and that the Madani surah is that which was revealed upon him in Madina.

That which the scholars (Ibn Katheer  and others)mention is that the Makkan surah is that surah which was revealed before the Hijra (even if some of its verses were revealed in Madina) and that the Madani Surah is that surah that was revealed after hijra (even if some of its verse were revealed in Makka)

Wallahu a’lam

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 4)

May 20, 2012



Concise benefits in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (4)

Bismillah was salaatu was salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillah

2. It may also occur that one verse may have more than one known authentic sababun nuzool (reason for revelation)

An example of this is that which has occurred concerning the reason for the revelation of the statement of Allah:

“O Prophet! Why do you ban for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is of forgiving most merciful”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 1)

Concerning the reason for its revelation there has occurred the following hadeeth:

Upon the authority of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) who said:

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa salam) used to consume a drink (made) of honey in the house of zainab bint Jahsh (May Allah be pleased with her) then he would spend time with her. So Hafsah and I agreed that if he came to anyone of us (after being with her) that we would say ‘Have you eaten ‘Maghaafeer’ (the gum of a particular tree, that is sweet to taste but is has a foul smell and is also known to be intoxicating)?’ For indeed I smell upon you the fragrance of Maghaafeer. So he responded no! but I did drink honey with Zainab. I have now sworn (By Allah I will not return to it) so do not inform anyone about this”

(Agreed upon by both Imaamul Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ (4912) an Imaam Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’ (1474))

The scholars mention that the messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) did so due to his dislike of foul smells, particularly one that resembled an intoxicant.

There has also occurred another authentic narration concerning the reason for revelation of the verse that mentions:

Upon the authority of Anas ibn Maalik who mentioned that the messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) used to have a bondswoman that he would have relations with (a reference to Maariyah the mother of the son of the messenger of Allah Ibraaheem). Aisha and hafsa did not cease addressing him concerning her until he made her haram upon himself so Allah revealed:

“O Prophet! Why do you ban for yourself that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? And Allah is of forgiving most merciful”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 1)

(Sunan An Nasaa’ie 7/71,72)

And in the narration of Umar about the occurrence he states:

“The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi was Salam) said to Hafsa “Do not inform anyone but indeed the mother of Ibraahim is haram upon me” so she (Hafsah) said to him “will you make haram (upon yourself) what Allah has made permissible?” he said “By Allah I will not approach her” thereonafter he did not appraoch her, so she (Hafsah) informed Aisha then Allah revealed: “Allah has already ordained for you (O men) the dissolution of your oaths (i.e the permissibility of doing so if one see that which is better, with the condition that one carries out the expiation for breaking the oath)…”

(Suratut Tahreem Vs 2)

Another example of this is that which has occurs concerning the reason for revelation of the verse:

“For those who accuse their wives, but have no witnesses except themselves, let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies (i.e. He testifies four times) by Allah that he is one of those who speak the truth. And the fifth testimony should be invoking the curse of Allah upon himself if he be of those who tell a lie (against her). But it shall avert the punishment (of stoning to death) from her, if she bears witness four times by Allah, that he is telling a lie and the fifth (testimony) should be that the wrath of Allah be upon her is he (her husband) speaks the truth.”

(Suratun Nur Vs 6-10)

It occurs in a hadeeth collected by Imaamul Bukhaari in his saheeh (3735) from the hadeeth of sahl ibn s’ad who said:

“Indeed ‘Uwaimir (Ibn Abi Abyadh al ‘Ajlaani) approached Aasim ibn Adi and said: “What would you say about a man that finds a man with his wife, does he kill him and thus be killed (for his murder) or what does he do? Ask the messenger of Allah about this on my behalf. So Aasim went to the messenger and he said oh messenger of Allah (and mentioned the issue) but the messenger disliked the issue. So Uwaimir asked him (Aasim) about it and he responded by saying “indeed the messenger of Allah disliked the Issue and dispraised it” so he said “Inded I shall not settle until I ask the messenger of Allah about that (myself)” so he approached the messenger and said “O messenger of Allah! Someone finds a man with his wife, (i.e. having relations) does he kill the man and then be killed (for his murder) or what should he do. So the messenger said “Indeed Allah has revealed (verses from the) Qur’aan concerning you and your wife..” We see here how the knowledge of the Asbaabun nuzool helps to repel common misconceptions, from them the misconception that stoning is an Islamic punishment prescribed for women only, and then the likes of this verse is quoted. We understand that the verse was revealed in relation to a specific occurrence and does not indicate in any way that concentration with Islamic punishments is upon women alone.

Yet another narration indicates that the verse was revealed concerning a different incident.

Upon the authority of ibn ‘Abaas who said that Hilaal ibn Umayah accused his wife of committing adultery with Shareek ibn Sahmaa So the messenger (Sallallahu alaihi wa salam) said:

” (Establish the) evidence otherwise your back will be punished (i.e you will be flogged for falsely accusing a chaste woman) so he said “Oh messenger of Allah! if one of us sees a man on top of his wife in the middle of the act does he still have to establish the proof?! So the messenger continued to say: “(establish the) proof or your back will be punished” so Umayah said: “By he who sent you with the truth, I am being truthful and Allah will reveal that which frees my back from punishment. Then Jibreel descended and revealed upon him:

“For those who accuse their wives..” to the end of the hadeeth

(Collected by Bukhaari in his ‘Saheeh’ Hadeeth 4747)

This again establishes the point that one ayah may have more than one reason for revelation

Wallahu a’lam


Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 3)

May 20, 2012



Bismillah wal Hamdullillah was Salaatu was Salaamu a’laa Rasoolillah,

Amma ba’d:

Concise benefits in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (3)

As far as ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ (reasons for revelation) are concerned then there are a number of issues that should be borne in mind:

1.    It may occur that the sababun Nuzool (reason for revelation) may be one, but more than one verse in the Qur’aan was revealed concerning it. An example of this is that which was collected by Imaamut Tirmidhi in his Sunan (Saheeh Sunan At Tirmidhi 2419):

Upon the authority of Umm Salamah who said:

“The men participate in battle but the women don’t, and we only have half the inheritance of the men” So Allah ta’ala revealed:

“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you excel other. For men there is reward for what they have earned and for women there is reward for what they have earned and Ask Allah of his bounty…”

(Suratun Nisaa Vs 32)

Imaamut Tirmidhi mentions:

Mujaahid said: Allah revealed concerning her:

Verily the Muslims men and women, the believers men and women, the men and Women who are obedient to Allah, the men and women who are truthful, the men and women who are patient, the men and women who are humble, the men and women who give charity, the women who guard their chastity, and the women who remember Allah much, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. paradise)”

(Suratul Ahzaab Vs 35)

Both of these authentic narrations establish this occurance as the sababun nuzool for more than one ayah

Another example is that which took place with the messenger as occurs in a narration collected by Ibn Jareer in his tafseer (14/364) upon the authority of Ibn Abaas who said:

“ The Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa salam) was sitting in the shade of a tree on an occasion when he said: “There shall come to you an individual who will look at you with two Satanic eyes. If he comes then do not speak to him. There did not pass a long period of time except that a blue eyed individual approached so the messenger (Sallallahu ‘alahi wa salam) called him and said “For what reason do you and your companions curse me?” so the man went away and returned with his companions who all swore by Allah that they did not say or do (such things), so much so the messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) left him alone. So Allah the most high revealed:

“They sware by Allah that they said nothing (bad), but in reality they uttered words of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islaam…”

(Suratut Tawbah  Vs 74)

And Allah continues to describe them in the verse

Imaam Haakim collects a variant version of the same occurance (though the version in Mustadrak mentions the man had blue defective eyes). This narration (2/524/Hadeeth 3795) mentions that Allah revealed:

“On the day when Allah will resurrect them all together (for their account), then they will swear to him as they swear to you. And they think they have something to stand upon. Verily they are liars”

(Suratul Mujaadilah Vs 18)

Thus we see that it is established that more than one verse may be revealed for one occurance

Wallahu A’lam

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 2)

May 20, 2012


Concise principles in Tafseer (2)

The ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ (reasons for revelation) are of two types

1. ‘Sareeh’ (clear and unequivocal)

This is when the companion states ‘the reason for the revelation of such and such a verse is…’ or he mentions an occurrence or a question posed to the messenger then he or she says “…then Allah revealed” or “ Allah revealed.

Concerning the statement ‘then Allah revealed’ on rare occasions this is mentioned concerning an occurrence that is not the cause for the revelation of the mentioned verse but this is rare. Similarly the statement of a companion ‘we used to hold that such and such a verse was revealed due to this’ while it overwhelms our suspicions that this is the reason for its revelation, that is not always clear cut and those instances and their narrations should be correctly followed up and analysed.

2. ‘Ghair Sareeh’ (Unclear)

This is when a companion says ‘ This verse was revealed concerning such and such…’ this statement could relate to the reason for revelation, but it could also be a reference to the tafseer or explanation of the verse. That is to say, for example ‘this verse was revealed concerning the expiation of a vow’, we understand that the intent is that the subject matter of the verse is such and such.

There is a subtle difference between the first type (Sareeh) and this one. In the first the companion clearly mentions ‘Sababun Nuzooli hadhihil Ayah.. (The reason for the revelation of the ayah is…) while here the companion says: ‘Nazalat Haadihil Ayah fee kadhaa’ (This verse was revealed concerning… the word to consider here is his statement ‘concerning’. Does he intent by this statement the reason for revelation or does he intend merely to discuss and mention its subject matter.

And the examples of these categories of ‘Asbaabun Nuzool’ in the books of tafseer (exegesis of the qur’aan) are many.

Wallahu A’lam

Concise Principles in Tafseer and The Science of the Qur’aan (Part 1)

May 20, 2012



Concise benefits in Tafseer (1)

Bismillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillahi

Ammaa Ba’d:

1. Types of Revelation

Imaamus Suyooti mentions:

Al Ja’bari mentions:

“The Verses of the Qur’aan were revealed in two ways: 1. That which was revealed without a known cause 2. That which was revealed on the basis of an occurance or question”

(Al Itqaan 1/82)

Thus this second category has what is known as a ‘Sababun nuzool’ (reason for revelation)

The ‘asbaabun nuzool’ (plural) must be reported with an authentic chain of narration for it to be considered.

Though the asbaabun nuzool help us to understand the context of the verse the scholars mention another principle and that is:

‘ Al ‘Ibratu bi ‘Umoomil lafdh laa bi khusoosis sabab’ (meaning that the thing that is taken into consideration is the general nature of the wording of the text, and not only the specific reason it was revealed for)

Thus as Shaikhul islam and others have mentioned the ayah is applicable to anyone whose circumstances resemble that of the one the verse was revealed concerning

Wallahu a’lam

Biography for Imam ash Shaafi’ee

April 6, 2012

Taken from:


Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee [d.204H]

His Name and Lineage
He was Mohammad bin Idrees bin Al ‘Abbaas bin ‘Uthmaan bin Shaafi’ bin Saa’ib bin ‘Ubayd bin ‘Abd-Yazeed bin Haashim bin Al Muttalib bin ‘Abd-Manaaf bin Qusay bin Kilaab bin Murrah bin Ka’ab bin Lu’ayy bin Ghaalib. The Imaam, the Scholar of his time, the Protector of Hadeeth, the Faqeeh (jurist) of the religion; Aboo Abdillaah Al Qurashee then Mutallabee Ash-Shaafi’ee Al Makkee, Al Ghazzee by birth, a relative of the Messenger of Allaah and a son of his uncle, as Muttalib is the brother of Haashim who is the father of ‘Abdul-Muttalib.

His Birth and Early Years There is an agreement that the birth of the Imaam was in Ghazzah, his father died whilst still at a young age, so Mohammad grew up as an orphan living with his mother. She feared illness upon him so she took him back to his homeland whilst he was two years of age.
Nasr bin Makkee said that Ibn ‘Abdil Hakam said that Ash-Shaafi’ee said to me, ‘I was born in Ghazzah in the year 150 Hijrah and my mother took me to Makkah when I was two years of age.’
Al Haafidh Ibn Hajar mentions in At-Tahdheeb: Ibn Abee Haatim said, my father narrated to us that he heard ‘Amr bin Sawaad say: Ash-Shaafi’ee said to me, ‘I was born in the city of ‘Asqalaan, so when I was two years old, my mother took me to Makkah and I had a great desire for two things – for archery and for seeking knowledge. So I took up archery until I would hit on target ten out of ten shots that I would fire’’- (‘Amr bin Sawaad said) but he remained quiet concerning knowledge, so I said to him, ‘By Allaah, you have acquired a greater amount by way of knowledge than that of archery.’”
So he grew up in Makkah, whilst at the same time taking up archery, such, that he surpassed his contemporaries in it, and began shooting correctly at the target nine out of every ten arrows fired.
He also began the study of Arabic and of poetry and likewise began to excel in them and became renowned. Then he became greatly attracted to Al Fiqh, such that he would be the lead in it for the people of his time.

His Teachers Adh-Dhahabee says, ‘he took knowledge from his country from the likes of:
1. Muslim bin Khaalid Az-Zanjee – the Mufti of Makkah,
2. Sufyaan bin ‘Uyaynah,
3. ‘Abdur-Rahmaan bin Abee Bakar Al Mulaykah,
4. Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad and a number of others.’

Those he Narrated from Al Haafidh says, ‘he narrated from:
1. Maalik bin Anas,
2. Ibraheem bin Sa’ad,
3. Ad-Daawardee,
4. ‘Abdul-Wahhaab Ath-Thaqafee,
5. Ibn ‘Ulayyah,
6. Ibraheem bin Mohammad bin Abee Yahyaa,
7. Hishaam bin Yousuf As-San’aanee and others.’

His Studies Adh-Dhahabee says, Ahmad bin Ibraheem At-Taa’ee Al Aqtaa said, Al Muzanee narrated to us that he heard Ash-Shaafi’ee say, ‘I memorised the Qur’aan whilst I was still seven years of age, and I memorised Al Muwatta when I was ten years of age.’
Humaydee said, I heard Ash-Shaafi’ee say, ‘I used to be an orphan living with my mother, but she did not have enough (money) to suffice what was needed to give to my teachers, so my teacher used to allow me to stand in for him over the children when he was away, so I could gain a reduction from him.’
From Ash-Shaafi’ee that he said, ‘I came to Maalik (bin Anas) when I was thirteen years of age (Adh-Dhahabee says this is how it has been said but what is apparent is that he was twenty three years of age), so I went to the son of one of my uncles who was the governor of Al Madeenah, so he spoke to Maalik, so he said to him find someone who will read to you so I said I will read, so I used to read upon him, and sometimes he would have mentioned something during the course of it that had passed, so he would ask me to repeat it, so I would repeat it from memory. So it was as if that would amaze him, then I asked him concerning an issue and he answered to it, then I asked him again concerning another issue so he said, “you would love to become a judge” (i.e due to his enthusiasm for these issues).’

His Worship From Mohammad bin Bishr Al Akaree and other than him who said, Ar-Rabee’ bin Sulaymaan narrated to us saying, ‘Ash-Shaafi’ee used to divide the hours of the night. So in the first third of it he would write and in the second part he would pray and in the last third he would sleep.’
Dhahabee says, ‘I say all three of his actions are considered worship, as long as the intention is present.’
Zakariyyah As-Saajee said Mohammad bin Isma’eel narrated to us saying Husayn Al Karabeesee narrated to me saying, ‘I stayed with Ash-Shaafi’ee for a night, so he would pray for about a third of the night, so I would not see that he would exceed reading more than fifty verses, but if he increased, then he would read a hundred verses, and he would not come across a verse relating to mercy except that he would ask Allaah (for it) and he would not come across a verse relating to a form of punishment except that he would seek refuge (from it) and it was as if both hope and longing as well as dread had been gathered together for him.’

His Stance against Innovation and Innovators • Mohammad bin Yahyaa bin Aadam said Ibn ‘Abd-Al Hakam narrated to us saying I heard Ash-Shaafi’ee saying, ‘if the people truly knew of what is found in Al Kalaam (theological rhetoric) and innovations, then they would flee from it just as they would flee from a lion.’
• ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal reports saying, I heard Mohammad bin Dawood saying: ‘It has not been recorded that during the whole lifetime of Ash-Shaafi’ee, that he spoke from anything relating to innovated desires, nor was anything of the sort ever attributed to him, nor was he ever known for it, even though he had severe hatred for the people of Kalaam (rhetoric) and innovation.’
• From Ibn Abee Haatim who said, Yunus narrated to us saying, I said to Ash-Shaafi’ee, ‘our companion Al-Layth says, “If I saw a person of desires walking upon water I would not take from him.” So he said, ‘rather he fell short, if I saw him walking in thin air I would not take from him.’
• Az-Za’faraanee and others said we heard Ash-Shaafi’ee say, ‘My verdict concerning the people of Kalaam is that they should be whipped with Jareed (palm branches stripped of their leaves), then they should be mounted onto camels, and paraded throughout the district and that it be called out: ‘this is the reward for those who abandoned The Book and The Sunnah, and turned their attention instead to Kalaam.’
• Zakariyyaa As-Saajee said Ahmad Ibn Al ‘Abbaas An-Nasaa’ee narrated to us saying, I heard Az-Za’faraanee saying, that I heard Ash-Shaafi’ee saying, ‘I have never had a dispute with anyone over the issue of Kalaam except once, and even from that I seek the forgiveness of Allaah.’
• Mohammad bin Ishaaq bin Khuzaymah said, I heard Ar-Rabee’ saying, ‘whilst Ash-Shaafi’ee was advising Hafs Al Fard, Hafs said, “The Qur’aan is created.” So Ash-Shaafi’ee replied to him, “you have disbelieved in Allaah the Great.”’
• As-Saajee said, Ibraheem bin Ziyaad Al ‘Ubalee narrated to us, saying I heard Al Buwaytee saying, I asked Ash-Shaafi’ee, ‘Should I pray behind a Raafidee?’ So he said, ‘No, do not pray behind a Raafidee, nor behind a Qadaree, nor behind a Murji’ee.’ So I said: ‘describe them to us’, so he said, ‘whoever says “that Eemaan is only in statement”, then he is a Murji’ee, and whoever says, “Aboo Bakr and ‘Umar were not Imaams”, then he is a Raafidee, and whoever attributes Will (decree) to himself, then he is a Qadaree.’
• Az-Zubayr bin ‘Abdul-Waahid said: ‘Alee bin Mohammad informed us in Egypt, saying, Mohammad bin ‘Abdil-illaah bin ‘Abdil-Hakam said, ‘after Ash-Shaafi’ee debated Hafs Al Fard he acquired a great hate for Kalaam, and he used to say, “By Allaah, for a Scholar to issue a verdict, and then it be said about him, that the scholar has made a mistake, is better for him, than that he should speak with something and it be said of him: Zindeeq (evil heretic), and there is nothing more hateful to me than Kalaam and its people.”’

His Intellect • ‘Alee bin Mohammad bin Abaan Al Qaadhee said, Aboo Yahyaa Zakariyyaa As-Saajee narrated to us, saying Al Muzanee narrated to us saying, ‘If there was anybody that could bring out my innermost conscience, and that which is related to the perilous belief I had with regard to the issue of Tawheed, then it would be Ash-Shaafi’ee. So I went to him, and I found him in Masjid Misr, so I knelt down on my knees in front of him and said, “there has come to my mind an issue with regards to Tawheed, and I know that nobody has the knowledge which you have, so what do you have?’(i.e with regards to this issue)”, so he became angry, then said, “do you know where you are?”, so I said, “yes.” He then said, “this is the place where Allaah caused Fir’awn (Pharoah) to drown. Has it ever reached you that the Messenger of Allaah commanded us with asking of such an issue?” I said, “no” then he said, “did the Companions ever speak about it?” I said, “no”, he then said, “do you know how many stars there are in the heavens?” I said, “no”, to which he said, “taking anyone of those stars into account do you know its type? Its height? Its setting? Or from what materials it was created?” I said, “no” so he said, “so how then, is there something from the creation that you can see with your naked eye that you have no knowledge of, and yet you speak concerning the knowledge of its Creator?!”
Then he asked me about an issue relating to Wudoo, and I erred with regards to answering it, so he himself answered it from four different angles, and I did not even answer the like of any of them, thereafter he said something that you are dependent upon five times a day – you leave off knowledge regarding it, and you burden yourself with the knowledge of the Creator, if there comes to your mind the like of that, then return to Allaah, and to His saying the Most High: “And your Lord is One, there is nothing worthy of worship other than Him, He is Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Indeed there in the creation of the heavens and the earth.” [Al Baqarah: 163-164]
So he proved through the creation, that there is a creator, so do not burden yourself with knowledge that your ‘Aql (intellect) cannot reach’. He said (i.e al-Muzanee): ‘So I repented from that.’
• Ibraaheem bin ‘Alee Al ‘Aabid informed us in his book, that Zakariyyah Al Albaa and others informed us, saying, ‘Abdul-Awwal bin ‘Eesaa informed us saying, Shaykh-ul-Islaam Aboo Isma’eel Al Harawee informed us, saying, Ya’qoob benefited me, and this is something which I copied from his own handwriting, that Aboo ‘Alee Al Khaalidee informed us, saying, I heard Mohammad Ibnul Husayn Az-Za’faraanee saying, I heard ‘Uthmaan bin Sa’eed bin Bashaar Al Anmaatee say, I heard Al Muzanee say, ‘I used to look into Kalaam before Ash-Shaafi’ee came, so when he came, I went to him, and I asked him about an issue from the issues of Kalaam, so he said to me, “do you know where you are?” I said, “yes, in the Masjid of Al Fustaat”, so he said to me, “you are in Taraan, (‘Uthmaan said, and Taraan is a place on the Red sea, a ship is barely able to survive its waters)”, so he asked me about an issue in Fiqh, so I answered it, then he entered into it something which distorted my answer, so I answered again, then he entered something into it which again distorted my answer, such, that every time I would answer with anything, he would distort it somehow, then he said to me, “this is the Fiqh which contains The Book and The Sunnah, and the statements of the people (scholars), the likes of these things can enter into them, (and distort them) so how about speaking with regards to the Lord of the Creation, in which there is much erring to be found”. So I abandoned Kalaam, and turned my attention instead to Al Fiqh.’
• Harmalah said, ‘Ash-Shaafi’ee was asked concerning a man who had a date in his mouth, then said, “if I swallow it (the date) then my wife is to be divorced, and if I spit it (the date) out, then my wife is to be divorced”. So he (Ash-Shaafi’ee) replied, “he should eat half of it and spit the other half out.”’

His Fearfullness of Allaah Az-Zubayr bin ‘Abdul-Waahid said, Mohammad bin ‘Aqeel Al Firyaanee narrated to us saying, Al Muzanee or Ar-Rabee’ said, ‘We were with Ash-Shaafi’ee one day, when there came to him a Shaykh who was wearing a woollen garment, and he had in his hand a staff, so Ash-Shaafi’ee stood up for him, and straightened out his clothes, the Shaykh then gave Salaam and sat down. So Ash-Shaafi’ee began looking at the Shaykh out of awe of him, at which point the Shaykh said, “can I ask?” So he (i.e Ash-Shaafi’ee) replied, “ask”, so he said, “what are the proofs that we use in the religion of Allaah?”

So he said, “the Book of Allaah”, so the Shaykh said, “and what else?”, he replied, ‘”he Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger”, so he said, “and what else?” so he replied, “{the agreement of the Ummah”. The Shaykh said, “from where have you taken the aspect of the agreement of the Ummah?” So Ash-Shaafi’ee began thinking deeply, after which the Shaykh said, “I give you three days (to think about it), so either you come with a proof for what you said from the Book of Allaah, or otherwise you should repent to Allaah.” So the colour on Ash-Shaafi’ee’s face changed, then he (Ash-Shaafi’ee) got up and left and he did not come out of his house until the third day between Dhuhr and ‘Asr. While at the same time his face, and his hands and his legs looked swollen, and he looked sickly, so he sat down, and it was not long before the Shaykh arrived, who gave Salaam and sat down, then said, “where is my requirement?” so Ash-Shaafi’ee said, “yes, I seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan the accursed, Allaah The Most High says: “And whomsoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance has become clear to him, and he follows a path other than the path of the believers, then we shall leave him to that which he turned to” [An-Nisaa’: 115]. So he would not burn this individual for going against the path of the believers, except that it was an obligation (i.e which he left out).” So the Shaykh said, “you have spoken truthfully”, then he stood up and left. So Ash-Shaafi’ee said, “I read the Qur’aan each day and night three times until I decided upon it.”’

Scholar’s Praise for him • Al Haarith bin As-Surayj said, I heard Yahyaa Al Qattaan saying: ‘I make supplication to Allaah for Ash-Shaafi’ee I specify him in it.’
• Aboo Bakr Khallaad said, ‘I make supplication to Allaah for Ash-Shaafi’ee at the end of my prayer.’
• Mohammad bin Haroon Az-Zanjee said, ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmad narrated to us saying, ‘I said to my father, “what kind of man was Ash-Shaafi’ee? As I have heard you make a great amount of supplication for him”, so he said, “O My son, he used to be like how the sun is for the earth, as a vitality for the people, so is there for any of these two a successor or from the two any like?”’
• Qutaybah bin Sa’eed said, ‘Ash-Shaafi’ee is an Imaam.’
• Al Maymoonee said, I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal saying, ‘There are six individuals for whom I make supplication for in the last part of the night, one of them is Ash-Shaafi’ee.’
• Ahmad bin Hanbal said, in varying chains of narration from him, ‘Indeed Allaah destines for the people at the head of every one hundred years someone who will teach them the Sunan. Someone who will remove from the Messenger of Allaah any lies attributed to him, so when we looked at the end of the first one hundred years and there was ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil ‘Azeez, and at head of the second one hundred years there was Ash-Shaafi’ee.’
• Aboo Thawr Al Kalbee said: ‘I have not seen the like of Ash-Shaafi’ee, nor has he seen the like of himself.’
• Ayyoob bin Suwayd said: ‘I never thought that I would live to see the like of Ash-Shaafi’ee.’
• Yoonus As-Sadafee said, ‘I have not seen anybody more perfect in intellect than Ash-Shaafi’ee, I had a debate with him one day regarding an issue, thereafter we parted. Then he met me again, so he took me by the hand then said, “O Abaa Moosaa, can it not be that we remain brothers even if we differ in an issue.”’ • I say (Dhahabee): ‘This is a proof of the completeness of the intellect of this Imaam, and his understanding of his own soul, as the contemporaries (equals/peers) do not cease to differ.’
• Ma’mar bin Shabeeb said, I heard Ma’moon saying, ‘I put Mohammad bin Idrees to test in everything, and I found him at the end of it to be undivided.’
• Dawood bin ‘Alee said, I heard Ibn Raahawayh (Ishaaq bin Raahawayh) saying, ‘I never knew that Ash-Shaafi’ee was at this distinction, if I had known of it, I would never have left him.’
• Aboo Dawood As-Sijistaanee said, ‘I do not know Ash-Shaafi’ee to have made a single error in Hadeeth.’
• Ibraheem bin Abee Taalib Al Haafidh said, ‘I asked Abaa Qudaamah As-Sarikhsee concerning: Ash-Shaafi’ee and Ahmad, and Abee ‘Ubayd, and Ibn Raahawayh, so he said, “Ash-Shaafi’ee is the most perceptive of them.”’
• ‘Abdullaah bin Naajiyah Al Haafidh said, I heard Ibn Waarah saying, ‘I came back from Egypt, so I went to Ahmad bin Hanbal, so he said to me, “did you copy out the books of Ash-Shaafi’ee?” I said, “no” so he said, “you were neglectful, we did not know the general (principles) from the specific ones, nor did we know which Hadeeth were abrogated from those Hadeeth which abrogate others, all this we did not know, until we sat with Ash-Shaafi’ee.” So that inspired me to return to Egypt, after which I began writing them out.’
• Mohammad bin Ya’qoob Al Farajee said, I heard ‘Alee Al Madeenee saying, ‘Upon you are the books of Ash-Shaafi’ee.’
• Aboo Bakr As-Sawma’ee said, I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal saying: ‘The companion of Hadeeth can never become quenched by the books of Ash-Shaafi’ee.’
• Ahmad bin Salamah An-Naysaabooree said, ‘Ishaaq bin Rahawayh married a women whose husband had died, but he had possessed the books of Ash-Shaafi’ee, he (Ishaaq) did not marry her except for those books.’ • Aboo Moosaa Ad-Dareer was asked regarding the books of Ash-Shaaf’ee as to how they became so widespread amongst the people, so he said, ‘Allaah chose him for His knowledge, then He raised him.’
• Ishaaq bin Raahawayh was asked how it was that Ash-Shaafiee authored all those books yet his age was not very much, so he said, ‘Allaah gathered for him his ‘Aql (intellect), despite the shortness of his age.’

His Sayings • Ash-Shaafi’ee said, ‘Knowledge is what benefits, knowledge is not what is merely memorised.’
• Aboo ‘Alee bin Hakamaan said, Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Haaroon Al Hamadaanee Al ‘Adl narrated to us, that Aboo Muslim Al Kajjee narrated to us saying, Al Asma’ee narrated to us from Ash-Shaafi’ee, that he said, ‘The core of knowledge, is steadfastness, and its fruit is security, and the core of cautiousness is contentment, and its fruit is tranquillity, and the core of patience is to be resolute, and its fruit is triumph, and the core of actions is ability, and its fruit is success, and the goal in each and every affair is truthfulness.’’
• Aboo Thawr said, I heard Ash-Shaafi’ee say, ‘It befits the Faqeeh (jurist), that he should place some soil onto his head out of humbleness to Allaah, and out of thanks to Allaah.’
• Ar-Rabee’ said, Ash-Shaafi’ee said to me, ‘If the Fuqahaa (jurists and people of knowledge) are not the Awliyaa (loyal and devoted ones) of Allaah, then Allaah has no Walee.’
• Hurmulah said, I heard Ash-Shaafi’ee say, ‘I would love that all the knowledge that I have learnt, that I should teach the people, so that I would get the reward, and they would not praise me for it.’
• It has been reported through two chains from Ash-Shaafi’ee, that he said, ‘If I see a man the companions of Hadeeth, then it is as if I am seeing a companion of the Prophet, may Allaah reward them with all good, they protected for us the Asl (origin/foundation), so they have excellence over us.’
• Yoonus bin ‘Abdil-A’laa said, Ash-Shaafi’ee said to me, ‘Pleasing the people is a goal you will never reach, and there is no way to ensure security from them, so upon you be that which will benefit you, then adhere to that.’
• From Ash-Shaafi’ee that he said, ‘The sign of a true friend, is that he behaves to the friend of his friend as a friend.’ • From Ash-Shaafi’ee that he said, ‘The most elevated of people in status, are those who do not recognise from themselves any status, and those of them who possess the most excellence are those who do not see their excellence.’

His Madh-hab • From Ash-Shaafi’ee who said, ‘If you see in any of my books that which is contradictory to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah, then speak with that, and leave alone what I said.’
• Al Humaydee said, ‘Ash-Shaafi’ee narrated a Hadeeth one day, so I said to him, “are you going to take that? (i.e as a means of practice)”, so he said, “did you see me coming out from a church, or do you see upon me a Zunnaar (the waist belt of the Christians and Magians) that I should hear a Hadeeth from the Messenger of Allaah and that I should not speak with it?!”’’
• It has been narrated that he said, ‘If a Hadeeth is proven to be authentic, then it is my Madh-hab, and if the Hadeeth is proven authentic, then throw my saying against the wall.’
• Ar-Rabee’ said, I heard him (Ash-Shaafi’ee) say after a man had said to him, ‘do you take this Hadeeth O Abaa Abdillaah?’, so he said, ‘when I narrate a Hadeeth from the Messenger of Allaah, which is an authentic Hadeeth, and that I do not take it, then you should bear witness that my ‘Aql (intellect) has gone.’

His Death Al Haafidh says in At-Tahdheeb: Ibn Abee Haatim said, ‘’Abd Al-Hakam narrated to us, saying that Ash-Shaafi’ee was born in the year 150H, and died in the last day of Rajab in the year 204H more than one person have written historical accounts of him, and his outstanding virtues and excellence are very many.
Ibn Abee Haatim and Zakariyyaa As-Saajee and Al Haakim and Al Bayhaqee and Al Harawee and Ibn Asaakir and others have gathered them.

Taken from:
Siyar A’laam An-Nubalaa of Imaam Adh-Dhahabee, publisher: Mu’asasa Ar-Risaalah [Vol. 10, Pg: 5-99]
Tahdheeb At-Tahdheeb of Al Haafidh Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqalaanee, publisher: Hindiyyah Hyderabad – Deccan [Vol. 9, Pg: 25-31]
[Taken and adapted from]